Bubbles are symbolic of many things. The way they can float in the air evokes thoughts of playful freedom. Their perfect shape and shimmering translucent and delicate appearance is like a dream. And their wavering form reflects its vulnerability to internal and external stresses, especially as they get bigger.
Harmony and stability in society are like bubbles. They can be a wonder to behold when the various forces are working in conjunction towards a mutually beneficial potential. Yet they can also easily become destabilized by threats from both internal and external sources. Those threats can be myriad or singular, like a pin, pushing outward to break free from the bubble’s constraints, or popping it from the outside like a feared intruder.
These qualities make bubbles an ideal image to represent the Four Dimensional Framework concept, but my limited skills and mental capacity makes it impractical to use them for my model. Besides, a true representation of a four dimension image would require a three dimensional bubble moving across time which would be cool, but too difficult to conceive.
Fortunately, circles retain enough similar qualities to suit the model’s purposes. Like bubbles, their shape is simple and attractive, yet easily malformed by a push from the inside or outside. They also require their internal forces to be pushing equally in all directions in order to attain a perfect shape, an already challenging task made more difficult as the circle gets larger. Finally, out of all shapes, both two and three dimensional, both circles and bubbles provide the greatest amount of space possible within the confines of their perimeters, a suitable representation of the worthwhile pursuit of the optimization of public interest discussed in my blog.
But the other fascinating quality about circles and bubbles that fits with my ideas about conduct and the broader interest is that aside from diameter and radius, they are literally impossible to exactly quantify. The key number to calculate the perimeter, area, and volume of a circle or bubble is pi, an irrational number. It is a number without end. Computers have helped further refine this number, but at last word, pi has been determined to 1.2411 trillion decimal places and still counting!
It is amazing that such a simple yet pervasive and appealing figure as circles are can defy a perfect understanding by mathematics, the most disciplined and precise of the sciences. In that way, circles fits the message posed in the Moving beyond Certainty post – that the impossible pursuit of an absolutely optimal and maximized society that yields a fair and mutually beneficial public interest far from invalidates it against those who advocate the certainty of self-interests.
The “circularity” of an issue thus provides the final element of the graphic representing the Four Dimensional Framework. To demonstrate, let’s return to the Charles Bukowski quote I plotted using my model back on Day 12 of my NaBloPoMo series (thanks one more time to Lucile de Godoy):
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence”
The graphic I produced at that time was to represent a “stupid one”, with confidence being treated as a case of misplaced Certainty, yielding a long bold blue line in the Awareness quadrant. Recall also that since stupidity can come in many forms, short radiating lines were placed representing a lack of Knowledge, poor Appreciation of others, a non-Future short term outlook, and a lack of Creativity.
Granting that all other forms of conduct for this scenario will be treated as equal, connecting the ends of the radiating lines produces a shape whose circularity represents how well, or poorly, Bukowski’s “stupid ones” contributes to the public interest. Simply put, the bigger and more circular the shape the better.
As mentioned, a perfect circle would be the best for everyone, but like I said in the Day 12 post, any one of these conduct dimensions can damage the public interest potential, much less the five that stick out in this figure. Like circles, the fluctuations in its shape greatly reduce the space it contains, but like bubbles, those forces pushing both inwards and outwards threaten to pop it altogether.
I will be featuring this graphic on my blog on a regular basis to support the Four Dimensional Framework model I’m developing and the public interest ideas it promotes. As for the other side of that optimal case like what was represented here, I’ll get back to it in a day or two.